Written by Maryam Habib and Dr. Muhammad Asim
The study examined the current ratings of Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan in achieving the targets of SDG 9, which focuses on building resilient infrastructure, promoting sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation. Through the use of various scientific development indexes, including the Global Innovation Index, the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s Technology and Innovation Report, the report assessed the innovation capabilities and competitiveness of the three states.
The report found that Iran had made significant progress in developing its science and technology capabilities, but it still faced challenges in commercializing its research and promoting entrepreneurship. Pakistan has made progress in developing its ICT sector, but it still lags behind in areas such as research and development. Afghanistan faces significant challenges in developing its science and technology capabilities, mainly due to the ongoing conflict and instability.
To improve their ratings in SDG 9, the report suggested that the three states increase investment in research and development, strengthen their infrastructure, encourage entrepreneurship, develop policies and regulations that promote sustainable industrialization, and build partnerships with international organizations and other countries to share knowledge and resources.
The report also emphasized the importance of the tri-borderland region of the three states in promoting industry, innovation, and infrastructure in the region. By developing cross-border trade and investment, sharing expertise and resources, and building common infrastructure such as transport networks and energy grids, the region can create a more favorable environment for economic development and innovation. However, political stability is crucial to realizing this potential.
Hence, the study highlights the importance of investing in science, technology, and innovation to achieve SDG 9. It also underscores the potential of the tri-borderland region of Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan in promoting economic development and innovation, provided that the region can achieve political stability.